Weight Loss Inspiration!

I find it a rarity to meet truly inspiring people.  I meet  generous, uplifting and caring people often.  Inspirational…..no not that much.  Till recently.  I had a session last fall with a woman who recently got a divorce and was looking to get some new “chic” photo’s.  The session was scheduled for a fall day.  The air had a chill to it and the leaves were already mostly fallen.  I met the woman and her friend and started the session.  Truthfully, we had a great time.  She was funny, charming, down to earth and pleasant to work with.  Her friend Stephanie was a little shy but interesting and engaging.  It’s kind of an art to interact with clients while trying to photograph them naturally.  It’s a fine balance that I truly pray about before I ever start a session.

Anyways, I spoke with the friend for a bit and she had mentioned she was on a weight loss journey. Isn’t it impressive when someone actually wants to change a part of themselves for the better.  I LOVE meeting people like this.  I always feel like I am trying to change something (although that’s another entry.)

 

This woman on the weight loss journey had booked a future session.  The session was to celebrate her journey.  Celebrate the fact that she had not taken pictures for 10 years and avoided cameras at all cost’s.  This session was to mark the incredible determination and decision to no longer be the woman that was bringing her down.  I couldn’t wait to be apart of this celebration!

Fast forward to yesterday.  She stepped out of the car and I did not recognize her.  She had lost the 95lb and was rocking her new self.  It’s amazing to me, the mind.  That when you decide to do something, if you really want it, you can get it done.  It was truly inspiring to hear about her journey, to hear about her new realizations, and how people treat her.

We had an amazing session and even had a celebratory cocktail at a local restaurant!  Cheers to the new you Stephanie!  Give this girl some LOVE!

16.

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Southern Luxe Home awesome Owner and Shop

I have always loved Pottery Barn.  Since I was a kid I can remember browsing the catalog and being so envious of the person who was able to design the room.  Paying close attention to detail in how they placed certain items.  It is always so intriguing to me how they think of placing product to sell.  It truly is an ART in itself.  A couple of months back I had the opportunity to photograph product from a company called Southern Luxe Home.  And work with  someone who had this exact eye for detail, design and quality!  Southern luxe offers such high quality unique products and pays  close attention to detail.  The owner Katie Metz has an eye for luxury and quality.  The products she selects and sells through her website  Shop Southern Luxe  is simply beautiful and elegant.  And I might say different.  Not things you see everyday but wish you did!  If you are looking for something specific, high quality and classy Southern Luxe Home is the perfect online shop.  I feel honored to have photographed this product and look forward to new things she selects to sell. Below you will find some of her selections, be sure to check out this shop today!

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Back to me

When I first started dating my husband long distance I bought Bryan Adams album “Back to me”.  This album would accompany me on many a runs as I fantasized a life of marriage and children. I would imagine waking up to this man every day and having a friendship that would last a lifetime.  We would never argue, I would always say the perfect thing in times of difficulty. We would have children and they would be dressed well at all times and never talk back.  Funny, when you think about it!    Now that I am married with children I find myself fantasizing about when I was single.  Not that I want to go back to that life of being single, but more so being who I once was.  A girl who put GOD first no matter what, who had plenty of time to study and pray, plenty of time to exercise and to eat right.  The bottom line is when you are single you have time.  And when you are married with children you have time BUT prioritizing and making time to do the things you once could becomes an ART!  I miss time.  I do not miss being single.

My eldest is 3 tomorrow and my youngest is 10 months and for the first time in a while I finally feel like I’m getting back to me!  I downloaded the album once again “back to me” and went for a run this morning.  Granted it was not the 6 miles I used to do with no problem, but it was something and it felt great.  As I was running, I was thinking how great it is to have a loving husband who after 7 years still lights up my face in the morning, and two healthy children.  My life has changed significantly in 7 years, but for the better.  Time is a luxury and when organized correctly can be imperative to your mental health.  I am finding it is vital to take the time.

Watching my little 3 year old dance as I write this I am thankful.  Take the time to enjoy this time, and get don’t for get to get “back to me”.  That’s my two cents for the day.

What is one thing you do to take time for yourself?

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Baby Show success!…..well besides some ugly attitudes.

 

Yesterday, Sunday June 2nd I had the privileged to be apart of the Chicago Baby Fair.  It was a great event with a wonderful turn out.  Lot’s of women with their bumps walking around learning new things that will benefit their family.  It really was nice to see.  There were a lot of seasoned mother’s there too.  It was pleasant to see the Father’s there supporting their significant other, whether it was holding all the bags,  holding the baby or filling out the next raffle entry.
As a vendor you can really learn a lot about people.  You have the opportunity to talk with many people and also observe a lot of people on the down time.  The beauty to Baby shows or any trade show is you really need to be able to learn your client quickly.  It comes down to three actions:  Speak, Listen and pay attention to body language.   You have basically 15 seconds to have your client want to hear more, or leave.   To some degree it is a skill and a  very fun skill to obtain and practice.
During the down time at a show I like to observe the other vendors, it’s hard not to.  This baby show, I was positioned next to two young girls.  After my table was moved 3 times by the coordinator and other vendors I finally was positioned.  At first it seemed like it was going to be a really great match up.  I say match up because the table you are next to can make or break your day.  The last baby show I did I was positioned next to Eleanore with  Happy Baby Organics.  What an amazing woman.  We would laugh, share stories and comment about the show and when someone would approach either table we would break from the conversation and speak with the future client.  There was an understanding there a peace and friendliness.  This was not the case yesterday.  And although they were very friendly there true colors showed.  I suppose it is hard to hide true colors when your next to someone for 8 hours.  By the end of the day I had their agenda down.  I new that if something was in their mind that was unkind or maybe just beneath them, they would share this observation with each other  hide their face behind their hair and laugh.  I knew their approach to clients was not one of kindness but one of the “get” mentality.  Sometimes you just can’t mask an ugly attitude.
So if you plan on attending a Baby fair here are 10 tips that you can look for to make sure the vendor you are choosing is going to give their all and offer a great service. And more importantly care about what YOU want and NEED.
Follow Eleanore on Twitter she offers amazing deals!
1. Are they smiling?  Not when they are talking to someone.  But when no one is around?
2. Are they content?  Or are they checking their phone?
3. Are they standing and ready to answer questions or sitting staring out into space?
4. When you speak to them are they willing to listen or just fill you with so much info that you end up checking out after ” and, also…..”
5. What about how they treat other vendors? Are they friendly or just keeping to themselves?
6. If you are at the table do they acknowledge you or do you need to make the first comment?
7. Are they friendly?
8.  Did you fee comfortable or rushed?  Strangely, if you feel comfortable with them, this means that they are doing their job!
9.  Most importantly.  Are they approachable?
10.  And last but not least.  When you leave the vendor table, walk 5 steps and look back.  You will be able to read on their face or their body language how they felt about you.  Try it!  It works!
If you are looking for some great items to feed your baby that are healthy, convenient and smart contact Eleanore by following her on twitter!
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Memorial Day or a LONG weekend?

A friend a mine decided to go on diet.  She chose a popular a diet that has a famous coach plugging their delicious food.  I went and visited her the other day and saw this “food” that this diet supplies.  We were both a little shocked that the “food” didn’t really need refrigeration and how full of preservatives it was.  We both came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t food.  And although their concept of eating high protein, low carbs and low sugar will help you lose weight, what is it really doing to your body?

Later on that day I was sharing this experience with my husband and he made a comment that I have not been able to get out my head.  “Well, that’s probably better than what the soilder’s get”.  I never really thought about what they eat?  But this statement fueled my curiousity.  What do our soilders eat?  In that moment I really zoned out and went into being in a strange land not able to go get my Dunkin coffee that I so cherish.  Or having the ability to eat whatever I had a taste for that evening If I chose too.  I have fresh vegetables and fresh fruits showing off their bright colors in my fridge.  These thoughts led into other luxuries that I take for granted daily.  When you give thoughts like these room to cultivate you are left with feeling humbled for not recognizing all that we have and take for granted.

So for those of you who are also curious about what are troops eat here is a typical “MRE”  “Meals ready to eat”.  These meals last up to 3 years without refrigeration.  Not my ideal meal.

  • Entree (chili w/beans, spaghetti or beef stew, veggie burger in bbq sauce, chicken fajita tortilla, etc.)
  • Side dish (rice, corn, dried fruit, or mashed potatoes, etc.)
  • Crackers or bread
  • Spread – peanut butter, jelly, or cheese
  • Dessert – cookies or pound cakes, chocolate pudding
  • Candy – M&Ms, Skittles, or Tootsie Rolls
  • Beverages – Gatorade-like mixes, cocoa, dairy shakes, coffee, tea
  • Hot sauce or seasoning (only in select MREs)
  • Flameless Ration Heater to heat the entree
  • Accessories – spoon, matches, creamer, sugar, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc.

So this MEMORIAL DAY when you are throwing your nice thick burgers on the grill and your juicy hot dogs and chicken remember take a minute to remember what are troops will eat.  As you scoop potato and macaroni salad on that paper plate you know cannot support both helpings take a moment to think about opening up a MRE package and eating the same thing for the 5th day in a row.  As you pop open a cold beer you just took out of the ice chest be sure to hold it up and give a hearty cheers to the soldiers who are living everyday defending so WE can picnic is peace.   And finally if you go to a parade keep your hand on your heart every time that flag passes by.   May God continue to  bless the Unites states of America.

 

 

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Senior Video Success!

This Thursday I had the opportunity to have a great session with 5 amazing girls!  During the photo session I was able to shoot some video.  These girls had an attitude of gold and had a outlook on life of EASE. I was there age only 12 years ago and it seems as if life hands things your way that you lose the “fun” sometimes.   It amazes me the energy these young girls have.    Always so carefree, fun and easy spirited. It was clear they viewed life with a outlook of adventure and excitement.  It’s strange that time sometimes takes that away from us women.

So this Tuesday morning I will focus on regaining the “fun” of life!  It is so easy to get into routine, and forget to enjoy the everyday!  Here’s to TODAY!

A special thanks to Kicks of Downtown Naperville.  They provided all the amazing footwear for this session and for the video.  Kicks specializes in unique, classic chic shoes that are comfortable, stylish and Unique!  If you have not visited Kicks you need to today!  Just walking in the Boutique makes you feel like to taken a step outside of “life” and into a relaxed atmosphere of calm.  The music is always contemporary and cool and the layout and decor is open and relaxed.  Lauren is most helpful in finding a shoe that is YOUR style.  Give this boutique a visit, I am positive you will NOT be disappointed.  Visit Kicks on Facebook.

Don’t forget to Check out this Senior Video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSTCd6j_FRE

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Chances were not so slim after all.

Mother’s day started pretty much like every other day.  Things don’t magically change because Hallmark decides it’s a day to remember Mom.  Truly I feel like I am remembered all the time.  My daughter remembers me every time she needs more juice or has to pee.  My youngest daughter thinks of me every time her diaper needs a change or a needs a bottle, my husband remembers me daily and always has something nice to say. My dog remembers me every time I hear that bell to let him out and now we have a new little pup that remembers me every time I am cleaning up a new mess of his on the floor!  Fun times.

All and All We had a great time together as a family yesterday, we all picked out a new puppy and took a new step as a family of 6!

Meet Parker Jones.

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What do you want for Mother’s Day? I would like to stay busy!

This post is to the mother’s that LOVE to keep busy.  I know of a handful of mom’s that love to keep going.  If there is nothing on the agenda they create things to do because being Idle is not an option.  I love this way of living.  I love being busy and having things to occupy my brain.  Personally, I find mothering to be a bit boring at times.  Once you have a system in place and somewhat of a routine it can become mundane and brainless.  Don’t get me wrong I love being a stay at home mother and feel very blessed to do so, but I am one that needs keep busy!  I love the rush of having 20 things to do and the feeling of getting it all done.

I have this one friend who always is so busy, and I love to hear what she is up too.  It’s probably one of my favorite things we talk about.  While she is telling me all she has been up too, I can’t help but think how awesome she is for tackling all she does!  I can relate, and  love that we share the “bug” of being busy!

My plate consists of two kids one is 3 and the other is 8 months, A soft coated Wheaton terrier an while he is the fine age of 7 he acts like a 1 year old.  I have house that needs landscaping all the TIME!  A husband who has proven to be one of the best blessings of my life. Oh! and did I mention the countless duties of motherhood and all the little mundane jobs of house ownership.  Laundry, Ironing, cooking, cleaning…etc!  The lists never end, and it’s ok.

So with all this, and you mom’s know there is plenty that has not been mentioned I would still like to add HIM to the mix.

Maybe it’s crazy, it is crazy.  But who cares, I like being busy!

So this is what I would like for Mother’s Day:)  Chances seem slim.

 

 

 

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Jane May Photography and Bows & Babes create great Synergy

 

Well It is official.  Jane May photography and Bows & Babes of d0wntown Naperville are working together to create the best photographic experience!  Bows & Babes of downtown Naperville is a unique Boutique that specializes in one of kind boutique clothing that will style your child perfectly!

Bows & Babes carry many national Brands and several local artisans.  Anne, the owner has a unique eye for style and it is apparent in the items she carries.

Bows & Babes opened their doors in the fall of 2011!  The Boutique is beautifully decorated and has a whimsical feel as soon as you walk in! Anne and her staff immediately  make you feel welcome and are most helpful to find that perfect outfit for your little one. Bows & Babes  have 100′s of Bows and many items that will exceed your expectations.  Bows & Babes carry baby gifts and kid’s clothing all the way to size 6 for girls and little men to 4T.  One of the most exciting things that sets Bows & Babes apart is there newest craze of Saturday/Sunday Birthday parties!  These parties actually shut the store down to accommodate your child’s birthday.  Dancing, Cake pops, goodie bags with awesome bows, nail painting and more make these birthday parties a dream for your little girl!

I could not be happier to partner with such an awesome Naperville Boutique!

Be sure to book your next session and receive 20% off to shop in this amazing Boutique!

 

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Boys will be Boys!

Boys will be Boys!  I never understood this saying till I became a photographer.  I had the privileged of photographing two little guys today who were full of energy!  It amazes me the differences between girls and boys.  Being a mother of two girls I never could understand the statement “boys will be boys”.   It takes on a whole new meaning for me.  If asked to explain the statement I would say that boys will be rowdy, boys will rough, boys will be everywhere and boys will be tough.  But at the end of the day, there is a certain sensitivity a boy gives through a lens, a certain look of depth and compassion.  Yes, on the surface they exemplify the statement “Boys will be Boys”!  But truly, the statement should say “Boys will be boys, but if you look close enough, they are caring, loving compassionate little men!”

The cutest little guys that I’ve seen in Naperville!

 

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